Prepared for Bridge the Legal Research Gap, 2010
Originally prepared by Kelly Kunsch; updated by Stephanie Wilson.
These resources are meant to be representative, not exhaustive.
HELP LOCATING PRACTICE MATERIALS:
Georgetown Law Library Treatise Finder
This website describes treatises and practice aids for seventy five topics. Entries
include flags indicating whether the item is introductory material or a leading
authority on the topic.
Zimmerman’s Research Guide: An Online Encyclopedia for Legal Researchers
This free site is sponsored by Lexis, but don’t let that discourage your use; it
includes sources from all publishers. The content is written by law librarians who
want to describe all legal concepts known to humanity. Entries are succinct and
include links to free primary sources and key treatises or practice aids.
Legal Information and Buyer’s Guide and Reference Manual, by Kendall F.
Zvengalis. Current edition: 2009.
This is the secret weapon of law librarians who need to decide what to purchase.
The Guide contains descriptions and recommendations about sources for sixty
one topics, including administrative law, banking, gambling, insurance,
telecommunications, and zoning.
Forms can be found in some treatises and practice aids, on some court websites,
and also exist in books dedicated to forms. Westlaw and Lexis have databases of
forms as well. Below are some favorite sources for forms.
Washington Practice: Washington Practice describes civil and criminal
procedure in Washington, as well as nearly every practice area. Several volumes
include sample forms. This source is available in print and on Westlaw.
Washington Bar Association Deskbooks: Many deskbooks include forms. The
Deskbooks are available in print and on Loislaw. A list of deskbooks is included in
Washington Lawyer’s Practice Manual: Seattle / King County Bar Association,
2009. This source includes forms for some sections. Only available in print.
Bender’s Federal Practice Forms, (Matthew Bender and Company, 1951-date).
Twenty volumes. This set provides the full text of all federal rules, notes to
amendments, Advisory Committee Notes, and hundreds of relevant forms.
Available in print and on Lexis.
West’s Federal Forms, (West Publishing Company, 2009). Nineteen volumes of
forms arranged in order by federal rule number for practice before the U.S.
District Courts, Courts of Appeals, and United States Supreme Court. Available in
print and on Westlaw.
American Jurisprudence Legal Forms, 2d, (West, 1966-date).
This is the grand daddy of form books, and weighs in at sixty two volumes. The
set presents forms for transactional personal, business, state and federal maters,
arranged in broad topical areas. Along with forms, each topic has introductory
comments, checklists, and lists of practice aids. Available in print and on
American Jurisprudence Pleading and Practice Forms Annotated, (West, 1966-
date). This seventy nine volume set is the only major set of pleading and
practice forms. More than 30,000 forms are included, covering all types and
phases of state and federal court proceedings. Most have been taken from files
and court records of practitioners in every state and federal jurisdiction. Forms
include reference to applicable state statutes and court rules. Available in print
and on Westlaw.
Nichols Cyclopedia of Forms, (West, 1983-date). This thirty nine volume set
contains forms grouped alphabetically into 225 topics, each with a brief outline
of the law. Where appropriate, topics include a discussion of tax issues.
Available in print and on Westlaw.
West’s Legal Forms, (West, 2008). Thirty six volume set of forms ranging from
business organization to forms for patents. Available in print and on
Fletcher’s Corporation Forms Annotated, (West, 1980-date). Twenty one
volumes. This exhaustive collection includes actual forms used by attorneys,
official state and federal forms, and unofficial model forms. There are forms for
preincorporation contracts, articles and bylaws, corporate organization,
consolidations and mergers, foreign corporations, nonprofits and more.
Available in print and on Westlaw.
PRACTICE MATERIALS FOR WASHINGTON:
Below is a selection of materials about practicing law in Washington State.
Washington Practice, West Publishing Company, 2009.
Includes descriptions of most practice areas and court procedures in Washington
State. Many volumes include forms. Washington State Pattern Jury Instructions
are published here; civil are in volumes 6 and 6A, and criminal (named WPIC, and
pronounced “wipick”) are in volumes 11 and 11A. Available in print and on
Washington Lawyers Practice Manual, Seattle / King County Bar Association,
2009. This source is only available in print. Includes guides to King, Spokane,
Clark and Snohomish County courts. Covers items such as case filing procedure,
obtaining a court reporter, setting cases for trial, and procedure in ex parte. The
following topics are also covered, and some include forms or sample pleadings:
Civil trial practice, appellate practice, damages, personal injury, evidence,
collecting claims and enforcing judgments, consumer law, domestic
relations, probate, guardianship and estate planning, tax, ADR, business
law, real property, commercial practice, criminal trial practice,
employment discrimination, bankruptcy, land use and environmental
law, Indian law, and construction law.
We are lucky to have several treatises and practice aids that explain topics in
Washington law. Below are some popular resources.
Washington Legal Ethics Deskbook (Washington State Bar
Association, 2003 & 2009 supplement). Available in print and on
Washington Civil Procedure Deskbook (Washington State Bar
Association, 2002 & 2006 supplement). Available in print and on
Washington Criminal Practice in Courts of Limited Jurisdiction,
(Matthew Bender, 2004-date). Available in print and on Lexis.
Washington Appellate Practice Deskbook (Washington State Bar
Association, 3rd ed. 2005). Available in print and on Loislaw.
Washington Administrative Law Practice Manual, (Butterworth
Legal Publications, 1991-date). Available in print and on Lexis.
Attorney Fees in Washington, by Philip A. Talmadge, Mark V.
Jordan. (Lodstar Pub., 2007). Available only in print.
Washington Estate Planning Deskbook (Washington State Bar
Association, 2005.) Available in print and on Loislaw.
Washington Family Law Deskbook, (Washington State Bar
Association, 2006). Available in print and on Loislaw.
Washington Family Law Reporter, case reporter published three
times each year. Available only in print.
Washington Community Property Deskbook (Washington State
Bar Association, 2003). Available in print and on Loislaw.
Washington Life Insurance Trust Deskbook (Washington State Bar
Association, 2002). Available in print and on Loislaw.
How to Draft Effective Wills and Trusts for your Clients in
Washington, (NBI, 2006). Available in print.
Washington Law of Wills and Intestate Succession (Washington
State Bar Association, 2006). Available in print and on Loislaw.
Washington Probate Deskbook (Washington State Bar Association,
2005). Available in print and on Loislaw.
Goods, Property, and Driving:
Washington Antitrust and Consumer Protection Handbook
(Washington State Bar Association, 2007). Available in print and
Washington Real Property Deskbook (Washington State Bar
Association, 2009). Available in print and on Loislaw.
Defending DUI’s in Washington State, (Matthew Bender, 2007-
date). Available in print and on Lexis.
Washington Motor Vehicle Accident Litigation Deskbook
(Washington State Bar Association, 2009). Available in print and
Washington Motor Vehicle Accident Insurance Deskbook
(Washington State Bar Association, 2001-date.) Available in print
and on Loislaw.
Washington Motor Vehicle Accident Deskbook (2d ed. 2001)
Employment in Washington: A Guide to Employment Laws,
Regulations and Practices. (Lexis, 1998-date). Available in print
and on Lexis.
Washington Business Entities: Law and Forms, (Matthew
Bender,2005-date). Available in print and on Lexis.
Washington Secured Transactions Under Revised Article 9 of UCC
Forms and Practice Manual, (Data Trace Pub. Co., 2003 –date).
Available in print.
HELP WITH COMMON TASKS:
Drafting Effective Contracts: A Practitioner’s Guide, (Aspen, last updated in
2001). Includes a discussion of drafting considerations as well as issues relating
to particular types of contracts.
Warren’s Forms of Agreement, (Matthew Bender, 1954-date). Seven volume
looseleaf collection of business contracts and alternate clauses for common
business transactions. Each chapter includes practice commentary with an
overview of the law and pros and cons of various types of contracts.
Pre-Trial Work: learning about judges, drafting pleadings, and conducting
• Know thy Judge:
The Almanac of the Federal Judiciary (Aspen, 1994-date) contains biographical
information on all federal judges. More importantly, it contains sections for
each titled: “noteworthy rulings” and “lawyers’ evaluation” to give an idea of
what to expect when it comes to potential biases, intellectual ability and
temperament. You can find biographical information about the Justices of the
Washington State Supreme Court at:
• Complaints (Pleadings):
Causes of Action (West, 1993-date) describes and sets forth causes of action for
a variety of topics. Each includes a discussion of substantive law, procedure,
jurisdictional issues, statute of limitations, proof [checklists and sample
testimony], damages, and discovery (including interrogatories). Each entry
includes a sample complaint. Available in print and on Westlaw.
American Jurisprudence Proof of Facts, (West, 1988-date). This set is aimed at
the party with the burden of proof, and authored by practicing attorneys, trial
judges, and experts. Covers civil and criminal; the civil sections emphasize
personal injury. Includes topic background evidence considerations, defense
considerations, elements of damages, discovery (including interrogatories,
document production requests, requests for admission, and oral deposition
checklists), elements of proof checklist, illustrative forms (complaints, motions),
and model jury instructions. Available in print and on Westlaw.
• Discovery and Motions Practice:
Bender’s Forms of Discovery, (Matthew Bender, 1963-date). More than 25
volumes of interrogatories, arranged alphabetically by subject matter. Entry has
scope note (with cross-references to other topics that may be useful), contents,
sometimes an introductory comment, and then the interrogatories. Available in
print and on Lexis.
Deposition Strategy, Law & Forms, (Matthew Bender, 1994-date). Eight volume
set which covers the planning, preparation, and conduct of depositions. Includes
general forms related to all proceedings, topical questions with commentary.
Motion Practice (Herr, Haydock & Stempel, Aspen, 2009) discusses motions
generally and numerous types of motions specifically. It does not have many
forms. American Jurisprudence Pleading and Practice Forms has a “Motions,
Rules and Orders” topic. For Washington, Washington Practice: Civil Procedure
Forms (vols. 9-10A) have motions, with commentary, as well as forms for other
documents based on the Civil Rules.
Settlement, Trial, Appeals:
• Settlement: Jury Verdicts/Arbitration Awards:
Personal Injury Valuation Handbooks, (Jury Verdict Research Inc., 1959-date).
This is a national report based on data from court clerks, legal contractors,
plaintiff and defense attorneys, law clerks, legal reporters, publications, and
media sources. Arranged by body part and cause of action.
Northwest Personal Injury Litigation Reports, (Jury Verdicts Northwest, 2009).
Contains settlements as well as verdicts. Arranged by type of accident. Indexed
by: Injury, Attorneys, Medical Doctors (alphabetical), Medical Doctors (field),
Non-Medical Doctors, Expert Witnesses Entry includes: name, docket number,
attorneys, insurance company, experts, judge, injury, brief facts, demand, and
Washington Arbitration Reports, (Jury Verdicts Northwest, 1993-date). Entries
are similar to those in the Northwest Personal Injury Litigation Reports except
decision is made by arbitrator rather than jury or settlement.
There are a large number of treatises on trial advocacy and evidence, including
subjects such as jury selection and examination of experts.
Art of Advocacy, (Matthew Bender, 1982-date). This series contains 12 volumes
on various aspects of trial work.
Criminal Defense Techniques (Matthew Bender, 1969-date). This six volume set
contains chapters devoted to specific crimes as well as generally applicable
techniques. Available in print and on Westlaw.
American Jurisprudence Trials, (West, 1964-date). This is an encyclopedic guide
to the practices, techniques, and tactics used in preparing and trying cases, with
model programs for handling all types of litigation. Articles include:
factual/design analysis, theories of the case, pleadings, discovery, experts,
anticipating defenses, and jury instructions. Available in print and on Westlaw.
• Appellate Procedure
Washington Appellate Practice Deskbook, (Washington State Bar Association,
2005). Available in print and on Loislaw.
Federal Appellate Practice: Ninth Circuit (Ulrich, Kessler & Anger) explains the
operations of the court with great specificity and includes very few forms.
Available in print and on Westlaw.
Federal Ninth Circuit Civil Appellate Practice (Goelz & Watts) is more practitioner
friendly with samples and forms at the end of each chapter. Available in print.